The Insane Lines Of Comic-Con And Other Memories Of SDCC 2011

Posted by No_name_here (1223 posts) - - Show Bio
Look closely and you can see the absurdity.

Of the wondrous phenomena of Comic Con that’s received such thorough coverage already, I don’t think enough words have been relayed about the mind-bogglingly long, utterly-insane, morale-clobbering lines at the convention center. Just roll these numbers through your bean counters…

  • 7,000 attendees (at low estimates)
  • Six hours of wait time (at the shortest)
  • Ten panels or so in the room per day
  • One ballroom everybody’s trying to get into

I showed up well before the convention floor’s opening, aiming to get into the WALKING DEAD panel (among others.) As much as we ridicule the fans who camp outside the convention center overnight, they actually must’ve had the right idea. I was led by staff through a line that coiled on the front lawns and snaked up and over the convention center before finally twisting into the shoreline at the opposite side. Not even the lines at Disney World are that outrageous (and at least those have some entertainment on the way.)

== TEASER ==
Ran into this guy at the top of the convention center. I was on the way to the real line after waiting for forty minutes in the "pre-line."

Word is, the much-ballyhooed withdrawal of some studios from the con led to many attendees taking their attention off the infamous Hall H and putting it on the less-discussed Ballroom 20. I was told later that it was actually easy to get into Hall H, and I suppose it had to have been, because it felt like every single attendee was standing in this damn line. Everybody told me that the length was unprecedented for the show and, once my view of the convention center started receding to the horizon, I finally had to throw up the white flags of surrender. You simply can't vanquish a serpent with 7,000 heads.

Look upon all the angles of this monstrous crowd and gasp in horror...

With all that given its proper due, I want to say that Comic Con 2011 was otherwise another phenomenal experience. Fun times were had with Tony, Sara, Mat, Daniel, Ana, Joey, Norm and Rorie. I'm honestly still closing my eyes sometimes to relive it all in a kind of astral meditation. It was that good of a show.

Bruce Vain and inferiorego. I suppose I was out-of-place for not having a screenname.

The most important part of the show, of course, was getting to hang with you maniacs in person, so I want to give a proper shout-out to sora_thekey, Bruce Vain, Grim, TheMess1428, Iron Lad, Rayeth, Dvorak and Artistic Needham. More so than getting to sign copies of my books, more so than making contacts with my favorite creators... seeing you all in the flesh is what really makes SDCC fun. You make these sites, and you make these shows.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

#1 Posted by G-Man (30658 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought your screen name was "Tom Pinchuk" and it was just a coincidence that it was the same as your real name..

Staff
#2 Posted by keith71_98 (387 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok, I've never made cComicCon but was really thinking about making my first trip from Arkansas to San Diego next year. These pictures make me think otherwise! 
 
As someone who has never been, please explain those lines to me. Were those simply people trying to get into ComicCon or were some of the lines for specific events during the convention?
#3 Posted by No_name_here (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@keith71_98 said:

Ok, I've never made cComicCon but was really thinking about making my first trip from Arkansas to San Diego next year. These pictures make me think otherwise! As someone who has never been, please explain those lines to me. Were those simply people trying to get into ComicCon or were some of the lines for specific events during the convention?

This line was specifically for entrance into Ballroom 20 for all the TV panels they had in there.

@G-Man said:

I thought your screen name was "Tom Pinchuk" and it was just a coincidence that it was the same as your real name..

It's like Stephen Colbert the TV persona and Stephen Colbert the actual person. I've lost track of which is the real one.

#4 Posted by sj_esposito (457 posts) - - Show Bio

I've never been to SDCC, and I always wanted to go, but I couldn't imagine being able to wait on those lines -- or even ones a fraction of the length.  
 
Perhaps I'll go when geek culture falls out of the grace of pop culture and back to its more comfortable, solitary niche. You know this can't last forever...

#5 Posted by Grim (2079 posts) - - Show Bio
@Tom Pinchuk: crazy good fun! i think next year im just gonna drive to the area instead of catching  the trolly.. the sole downside to hanging with you and the guys all night was carrying all my swag all over the place.
  i have a picture or two to post too as soon as i get my camera back from my woman....
 
@keith71_98
this was my first year. Pretty much, there is always a massive line for at least ONE of the halls (whichever has the most main stream/popular panel going on like a popular tv show or a movie panel with A list stars). There is a massive line day 1 for registration. And whenever one of the booths has a give away or sighing... there is always a decent sized line and/or mob that you shouldn't even bother walking towards if your not interested because there is virtually NO way through it. oh and i guess theres always at least a half hour wait for an SDCC shirt.
 but pretty much only the biggest lines have pre-lines. I had no problem getting into Indigo Hall and finding decent seats AND getting to the mic come Q&A, but i think that had something to do with Indigo being a 5-10 minute walk away from the main and up some stairs. And that was for Archer and Mortal Kombat panels, so there was plenty of interest. 
 im just blabbing now though. Besides the obvious line stuff, i dont know squat. My buddy whos been to nine of these suckers said this year was better than most, and i spent a good majority of my time with the booths outside.
#6 Posted by inferiorego (21239 posts) - - Show Bio

@Tom Pinchuk:TRICKY TRICKY LINES

Staff
#7 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah this kinda makes me start to think otherwise for Comic Con International. Sheesh...I get way too bored waiting in lines like that for anything.  I would put the suggestion again that CCI be moved then to where I am but I doubt that would help much with regard to lines...but in terms of more space for panels and things it would be a solution. Still, wow on the lines!

#8 Posted by ArtisticNeedham (2233 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't get the line situation, you cannot buy tickets on site, you have to get them online.  If you have the tickets already I think the line was pretty short to get in for your badges.  So why was there a line?
I got there, got right in and got my badge.
 
I remember one year I waited in a line like this, by the time I got to Alex Ross who was signing that year I was exhausted and looked frazzled:

#9 Posted by No_name_here (1223 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

@Tom Pinchuk:TRICKY TRICKY LINES

#10 Posted by pikahyper (11528 posts) - - Show Bio

Glad I stopped going to SDCC a few years ago, those pictures remind me of my first SDCC back in '93 or '94, the convention center was less than half the current size and nobody registered online so the line to get tickets the first day was just as long it and wrapped around the whole building and wound through seaport village, when I arrived and got to the back of the line it was in seaport village by the boats and two fanboys fighting about who cut in line both fell in the water :P

Moderator
#11 Edited by MTHarman (725 posts) - - Show Bio

It wasn't the lines that haunted me, it was the A-hole who stole my walking stick in the exhibition room. leaving me to gimp my way around in the damn place with a Thor Premium Format Figure (HUGE and heavy box). 
What's funny is that The Crucible within the Marine Corp Boot Camp program had nothing compared to what Comic-Con can give.  
#12 Posted by DarkMatter23 (71 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate to be "Debbie Downer" on this one, but SDCC needs to rethink their program access. Now I am all for a democratic process, but it occurred to me (after being one of the people waiting in line for hours and not getting to see the Walking Dead or Big Bang Theory) that the SDCC has not considered the leaches known as "The Squatter". I'm sure there were a lot of fans there for Walking Dead, but most of them probably didn't get to see that panel, because, say a True Blood fan, which their panel shows at 5pm, will wait all day in order to see it! You don't have to leave once you sit in your seat. This seems unfair to people who are the fans of certain panels. May I suggest changing this system? For the life of me I cannot think of one, since there are so many people, but given some time I think I could think of something. Does anyone think that they should change this system? If so, what would you suggest?

#13 Posted by pikahyper (11528 posts) - - Show Bio
@DarkMatter23: no way to change the system without more space, one year they did try making it so you couldn't squat in Hall H but that didn't work all that well cause they wasted so much time herding everyone out and then people would hide in the bathrooms too. Things might get better when comic con moves but until we know where we won't know if it will be better and there is a pretty good chance that it will be worse then SD. The current two front runners are LA and Vegas, they both have large enough convention centers to handle all the attendees but neither of them can handle the large AV rooms that would be needed.
Moderator
#14 Posted by AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge (1221 posts) - - Show Bio

San Diego is the Big Leagues.....I know that I will never be able to attend there because no matter people there are or how long it takes in a line for something....IT'S TOO DAMN BIG!!!!!
 
But I am thankful for just being about to attend WonderCon....

#15 Posted by Iron_Lad (315 posts) - - Show Bio
@Tom Pinchuk: Agreed, the best thing about Comic-con is getting to meet people and being able to talk to them about the things we like. I was able to meet Jon Hickman, my favorite writer at the moment, and he was nice enough to talk to me for a bit. He even autographed my comic books! I ran into you and we talked about anime for awhile which was cool. I was able to meet many people, they're all nice and down-to-earth. That's what I like about Comic-con. What I don't like about Comic-con are the lines that are terrible and sometimes even when you are in line, they'll cut you off and say too bad. You have to get there really early which I think is a hassle, because there will always be people who are more hardcore than you. There will be a long line already when you get there no matter what.
#16 Posted by Rayeth (5 posts) - - Show Bio

@pikahyper said:

@DarkMatter23: no way to change the system without more space, one year they did try making it so you couldn't squat in Hall H but that didn't work all that well cause they wasted so much time herding everyone out and then people would hide in the bathrooms too. Things might get better when comic con moves but until we know where we won't know if it will be better and there is a pretty good chance that it will be worse then SD. The current two front runners are LA and Vegas, they both have large enough convention centers to handle all the attendees but neither of them can handle the large AV rooms that would be needed.

I know for a fact (living in SD and listening to local news and all) that CCI is contracted to be in SD through at least 2014. There is a large amount of lobbying going on to get the Convention Center expanded and I'm guessing that keeping Comic Con is a large part of that push (it brings roughly ~$40 million over the 4 days to the local economy every year with fees, food, hotels, etc). Now who knows whether a promise of an expansion will keep anything the way it is-- not a chance in hell they will actually finish an expansion by then--, but I have also heard that the original people who started Comic Con waaaaay back in the day are SD natives and really like it here. So who can say what the future holds? Personally I'd like it in Vegas. Way more space, way more awesome stuff to do for adults. Screw all those kiddies, I want easier access to alcohol dangit!

#17 Edited by Bruce Vain (1869 posts) - - Show Bio

Huh? I never seem to have had any problems with the lines, but THEN again I don't know what lines are. Cause I'm Bruce Vain people !! hahahaha ;P

But yea I'd have to say the show this year was decent. I think they could've done a better job promoting stuff like The Dark Knight Rises for example. So really I had more fun seeing and hanging with you guys and my other friends. That's what made this year's show really great. It was great to have us Three Amigos get together - I'll be looking forward to next year.

Oh and sooooooooorry my girls were blocking your signing booth, Tom ! hahaha

And Tom tell Sam the Macho Man says Hi. hahahaha
#18 Posted by sora_thekey (8153 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the Shout-Out!

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#19 Posted by PsychoPanda (164 posts) - - Show Bio

I keep thinking about going, but those lines seem crazy.

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